This adventure is NOT part of the Foresite Irregulars storyline, skip to Lost in Sigil to pick up the latest in that chapter.
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
Cloud Giant’s Bargain [Part 2]
The Inglorious Badgers are attempting to learn if the offer of peace from the Cloud Giant Prince is earnest before they make their way to the center of the floating-castle complex. See Part 1 to catch up…
The Towers of Hospitality [continued]
H10. Dining hall
An enormous table, carved from a single block of pinewood over a hundred feet long, dominates this elegant dining room. Portraits of cloud giants line the walls between heavy drapes that cover all but thin portions of the windows, creating narrow beams of bright light. A fire burns brightly in a fireplace set between two doors at one end of the hall. Weapons and shields of human size are displayed above the room’s great mantle.
As they explore, two Hellhounds emerge from the fireplace.
At first they stand side-by side, snarling, looking around the room, and waiting.
But Kandrey moves too quickly and they are startled – a fight!
The struggle brings the Goblin cooks and servants from the next room shouting “Abbot! Costello! Stop that immediately.” Abcde notices that two goblins didn’t enter the room, but headed directly for the passage tower…
Kandrey manages to steal a shield and weapon from the wall in the chaos.
But the goblins were too late to prevent the destruction of Abbot. The cleric, Percocet manages to distract the goblin-chef with culinary discussions while they rested briefly.
H4 Passage Tower
Deciding to skip the room they expected was a washroom/bath of some sort, they headed directly for the passage tower.
When they entered, the discovered a dead giant guarding the exit. Athond examines the body and determines that this smells just like the vial of poison they took from the Majordomo’s room.
When they head out to one of the bridges that connects the three floating islands making up this castle compound, they can see the observation tower looking down at them! Soon a Chimera appears and attacks!
The Paladin Nym, is knocked from the bridge to an almost certain death hundreds of feet below!
So the rest of the group retreats back into the tower, and the beast flies upward out of sight or sound.
Devan the monk climbs up the giant staircases two floors to get up onto the roof, only to be instantly knocked unconscious by the beast that was waiting there for someone to come up.
Kandrey attempts to run across the bridge, drawing the focus of the Chimera, which swoops down to attack…
This allows the rest of the group to concentrate their attacks all at once to take down the distracted beast.
Island of Contemplation
Deciding it was too soon to head straight to the prince, the cross another bridge and head into a tower on the edge of the Island of Contemplation…
C4. Warded Tower
This tower is clearly intended as a place to greet visitors and envoys, decorated with a finely woven rug, a painting of a stern-faced cloud giant, a suit of human-sized armor, and a finely carved table and two chairs.
Athond is distressed, as he’s trying to recall the ritual for entering a Cloud Giant’s house, but we can’t remember…
… so the statue at the door turns into a Helmed Horror just as the rug attempts to smother Percocet.
But the cleric was light on his feet and avoided the asphyxiation. The rug’s plan unraveled quickly, but the flying horror took a bit longer.
They entered the main hall…
Paintings of giants, cloud castles, and creatures of the air fill this vast room, while colored and lacquered masks decorate a section of one wall.
One painting in particular draws their attention – a young Othanus with a pet dragon. “That dragon is probably much larger now!” – Aiindol
Since this island seems to devoid of all life, they carefully exploit the remaining rooms, saving the exit tower for last, just in case.
C7. Map Room
Large maps of FaerOn dominate one side of this room, while charts of weather patterns and the skies cover the rest. Giant-sized tables fill the area, all of them covered with parchments.
They find more evidence that the Majordomo is a warmonger, despite the language of the invitation AI received.
The giant’s library contained an amazing number of tomes…
…and a detailed record of which giants borrowed which books. They found more clues about Othanus intent and his relationship with his Father and the Majordomo’s.
They gather before entering the last chamber, for which an examination of the door revealed light and some warmth beyond.
An enormous statue of a towering cloud giant fills the far end of this vaulted room, whose ceiling is hung with azure tapestries. Two rows of long pews face the statue, while alcoves along the walls are set with monstrous stone figures holding incense
“That’s Memnor, a deceitful god of evil cloud giants. Memnor is one of the children of Annam, father to all giants, who swore to restore the giants to their rightful place as rulers of the world.”
Several of the neutral characters toss a coin at the base of the giant statue. Almost on cue, the gargoyle near the cleric comes to life and says “Welcome to the Temple of Memnor. How may I help you?”
The party engages in parlay with the gargoyle and learn [plot clues redacted]. They decide it’s time to head directly to the audience chamber.
H3 C2. Vestibule
Entering the passage tower out, they encounter another dead giant guard.
“I’m betting we’ll find a third poisoned body somewhere on the last island.” – Mercy
Towers of Judgement
“There’s nothing for it. We have to head directly to the observation tower…”
But this time the telescope isn’t following them as they move. So they climb up the deserted tower.
Another one! “That’s three. We’ve got all the evidence we need.”
They clear out the body, and climb down to rotate the roof segment…
While Mercy uses the scope to try to help the group. She learns a few things, but not as much as they’d hoped.
They have to exit the tower on the second floor…
There is a huge circular floating walkway connecting the upper floors of several towers…
Based on what they learned from the telescope, the decide to proceed directly to the audience chamber in the largest tower in the entire complex.
P6 Audience Chamber
You stand upon a viewing balcony some fifty feet above the audience room below. Two cloud giants are there, looking up at your arrival. The younger giant, seated upon a throne, must be Olthanas. Dressed in serene blues and wearing a silver choker, he has a calm disposition that belies his massive size. The older giant standing beside the throne must be Balakar, the majordomo who summoned you here – she narrows her eyes as she looks you over.
As the party starts to head for the stairs: “STOP RIGHT THERE! We will see if you are worthy to descend.” booms Othanus.
“First things first – Professor and the Tiny One. Approach the edge. You stand charged with stealing holy relics from the Sky temple.”
Athond gives a great “They belong in a museum” defense. ABCDE decides it’s better to let him take the lead.
Othanus: “So, you truly wish to share the culture of the Giants with little people? Tell me then, what are the 4 virtues on the tablets, and what do they mean to Giants…” Athond answers, but not with stock answers, but things that would provoke an emotional response from the prince – attributes of family and trust and cooperation."
Balakar interrupts “Do not listen to them my prince, they are here to kill us – look at all the damage they did on the way here. And why did it take them so long?”
The prince hears the charges “Breaking in everywhere, stealing the tablets at Sky temple, killing Abbot, stealing the weapons from the dining hall…”
“I’ve accounted for the tablets, we took the trinkets from the humans in the first place, and can’t we just conjure up another dining room guardian? These aren’t really significant crimes.” the prince replies.
Balakar starts to deliver her damning accusation: “The best is for last – they”
- but Mercy interrupts shouting “She’s going to say we killed 3 of your guards. She is lying. She is the one who killed them, with poison! See, we have 2 of the flasks she used right here – we found them in her desk which is in a cleverly hidden dimensional chamber in above her room!”
Othanus “That can’t be true, giants abhor poison. It is cowardly. Honestly, accusing her of using poison is almost worse than accusing her of murder. It’s hard to believe.”
[Cool point/counterpoint omitted, with Mercy making a particularly compelling final argument…]
Balakar’s disposition shifts, “I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this.”
She makes a motion with her and clenches her fist, the prince clutches at his throat an drops to the platform, gasping for air.
“That’s dealt with. Now to clean up this little mess.” She whistles, to summon … something…
An epic battle begins with everyone brining their a-game for the know it’s unlikely they will all survive.
Aiindol puts the entire platform into a fog cloud.
Balakar has the force to fell any of our heroes in a single round, which would be terrible enough, but the dragon she summoned arrives.
Aiindol and Kandrey focus on attempting to disable the choker that is killing the prince while everyone else tries to survive and distract the giant and the dragon.
The dragon swoops down toward the fog cloud covering the platform where the prince lies, and fully half the party has gone to work on the revival. It breathes on them all! The fog cloud is driven away and the dragon can see that it just attacked the human it played with as a youth.
At this point more than half the party is down.
But those that remain disable the choker!
With his first words, the prince orders the dragon “She made you hurt me. Protect!” and he stands up.
The dragon attacks Balakar, and she immediately surrenders.
“What do the little people say? What should we do? Will you finish her? You are all free to take a final blow. Professor, what say the little people of treachery?”
“In our culture, we accept surrender if it is heartfelt.” The party keeps their weapons ready, but does not accept the invitation to attack the disarmed Majordomo.
“As I said before Professor, you still have much to learn about Giants”,
And with that, Othanus bashes Balakar’s head in using both hands and a full swing.
“The way of war with your people is clearly wrong. I’m leaving this madhouse now and will meet with other similarly minded giants – urging them to withdraw.”
My run of Storm Giant’s Thunder comes to a close with this episode, as my regular group, the Foresite Irregulars is resuming meeting! Watch for a resumption of that campaign in future posts!